Thursday, 12 January 2012

Clegg pushes for greater Social Mobility

Whilst many parties and media pundits are happy to concentrate on battles that We have lost in Coalition and even on joining the Tories in the first place, today I am going to trumpet a genuine Liberal Democrat triumph (doing my bit for Tough Liberalism) - and one brought about by Nick Clegg.
Today he announced that Several banks and legal firms have signed a "Business Compact" to allow greater Social Mobility.
So what does that mean?

  • The Internship program will be as transparent as possible and remove barriers for those from a poorer background. 
  • Advertise Internships - including Work experience and general recruitment places fairly.
  • Support local Schools with mentoring and reading programs to encourage pupils of all ages and backgrounds to show them that they can shoot above their means.

A lot of this sounds straight forward like it should already exist but it is a sad truth that even in these modern times that someone who goes to a State school and studies at an old Poly university cannot go on to be head of a multi national bank despite grades and ambition just because their parents cannot afford to send them to Oxbridge.

On the other hand someone who's father went to Eaton with the Chief Exec can get the job or internship without a problem whether they're qualified or not. This is the life Nick had, he managed to get a good internship and work because of his background and it is a life he has fought to overturn for future generations. It isn't fair and should no longer be tolerated in a modern society. He has suffered criticism, which I wrote about  here for having this background but lets be honest, we don't chose our backgrounds or where we've come from but we can change where we're going and the world we want for tomorrow and that is what Nick has done and he should be commended.

This is an important step towards a society where it's what you know, not who you know, that counts,

Working with the Coalition, the biggest hitters in the City of London are helping lead the way to a fairer, more open society.
By opening their doors to young people from all walks of life, this marks the start of a culture shift at the heart of British Business, driven by the belief that ability and drive should trump connections and privilege.

HSBC, Barclays, Credit Suisse, RBS, Allen and Overy, Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst - Baker and McKenzie, CMS Cameron McKenna, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose, Simmons & Simmons, Irwin Mitchell to list but a few have signed up to the Compact.

Social Mobility is an ideal that is at the very heart of the Liberal Democrat party and the belief in people and this accomplishment is one that should be trumpeted. Hopefully this is the opening of a fairer society and gives kids from a poorer background the opportunity to achieve more and reach above the old idea of "Social position." and let those who can attain to actually do.

Clegg campagin sees City Firms open their doors to less well-off, Nicholas Cecil, The Evening Standard, 11-1-12

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